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Behind Enemy Lines: Talking Temple Football With Joe Serpico of Underdog Dynasty

Getting to know Temple with a current writer and fan of the team.

NCAA Football: Temple at Cincinnati Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Last week was Temple week, but schedules get busy and we thank Joe Serpico of Underdog Dynasty for spending some time to answer our questions about the Temple Owls. Please make sure to follow Joe and UDD on Twitter.

BCI: 2017 was the first year post Matt Rhule for the Temple Owls. What has new head coach Geoff Collins brought to the program and what changes have you noticed?

UDD: The easiest thing to point to is how Collins has brought national attention to a program that’s still trying to get out of the shadows of being the laughingstock of college football. The preceding coaches did a great job of preaching the mentality of being tough football players, which translated to the best decade the program has seen. Collins has built on that, but has added his relentless recruiting tactics as well. Whether it’s his social media presence, drawings or in-home visits, Collins is bringing the spotlight to North Philadelphia.

BCI: What are Temple’s strengths and weaknesses going into 2017?

UDD: The biggest difference entering this season is the Owls know who will be the starting quarterback this fall and that is great for an offense that has its share of playmakers. Logan Marchi was the signal caller to start the 2017 season, but was benched in favor of Frank Nutile. That change was exactly what they needed to become bowl eligible down the stretch. The question heading into this season is the guys who are supposed to block for Nutile. Center Matt Hennessey has the most playing time on a line of mostly inexperienced players.

BCI: Ok, I need to know, how the hell did you lose to UConn last year?

UDD: Long story short, the Owls offense stunk until the switch was made to Nutile to be the starting quarterback. Marchi would play his final game in a Temple uniform in the loss to UConn after throwing eight interceptions in four games. It was an embarrassing loss considering this game was played at The Linc, but it was the turning point of the season.

BCI: How do the Temple faithful view Steve Addazio now? Still mad he left?

UDD: I think those days have passed after Matt Rhule did what Addazio could not, bringing Temple only their second conference championship in school history. It’s not like Addazio has accomplished anything since leaving so we are content with what we have.

BCI: Who is one Temple player that mainstream people might not be aware of, but will be on their radar by the end of the season?

UDD: My first pick would have been defensive lineman Michael Dogbe, but he might be on the radar after video surfaced of him benching 505 lbs. My next answer depends on how much you follow the game, but safety Delvon Randall is a name you’re sure to hear when the NFL Draft process comes around. He was a starter essentially the minute he stepped on campus and has been a leader in the secondary since. He’s climbing up the leader board in plenty of the statistical categories and could end up being the best safety to come out of Temple.

BCI: Hollywood producers are going to make a movie on Temple football, who would play Geoff Collins and who would play Steve Addazio?

Huddersfield Town v Arsenal - Premier League
I see it, if Stewart bulked up a little.
Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

UDD: Addazio would be played by Patrick Stewart, who played as Professor X in the X-Men series and in Star Trek. Stewart would need to grow a mustache similar to Addazio, but he’s done that in films before.

BCI: Collins would be played by Danny Devito. Yes, Devito has him in years, but he loves to have fun like Collins and there is no denying the hairline is looking pretty similar. He’s also pretty familiar with the area after all the years on It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.

BCI: What are the goals this season for Collins and Temple?

UDD: Everyone is basically handing UCF the crown in the AAC East after winning last season’s National Championship, - yeah, I said it - but the Owls believe they have the pieces to make it back to the conference championship game for the third time in four seasons. Anything short of nine wins would be a disappointment, with the showdown in Orlando likely to decide who wins the division.

BCI: What is the craziest or most unique Temple tradition (football or non-football)?

UDD: Temple gives eight of their TUFF-est players the honor to wear a single-digit jersey throughout the season. The No. 1 jersey changes each week as the coaching staff rewards one player they feel has performed the best during the previous week and practices. Gets confusing trying to figure out players game day, but it’s a tradition that the players love.

BCI: It’s summertime. What is your beer and song choice for this summer?

UDD: It might be July and the 2018 NFL season is right around the corner, but some of us still haven’t gotten over the Philadelphia Eagles winning the Super Bowl (Editorial Comment: BARF). Give me a Yuengling while listening to the Eagles fight song and I’m the happiest man alive.

BCI: Final question: Pick a GIF that best describes how you envision Temple’s season going this year